Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future, released the following statement on new legislation filed today in the House of Representatives that would create the Family Empowerment Scholarship program. The proposal would provide education scholarships to tens-of-thousands of low- and middle-income families across Florida.

“For two decades, Florida has been a thoughtful leader in providing educational choice options to low-income families and children with special needs. The state has proven that expanded opportunities for families lead to better outcomes for students and schools. 

“Now is the time for children from hard-working, middle-income families to access those same opportunities that we know work for families and schools. 

“We commend Speaker Jose Oliva, Chair Jennifer Sullivan and the House Education Committee for their leadership, commitment and courage in continuing Florida’s strong tradition of educational choice. By taking this thoughtful step to broaden eligibility, Florida is again empowering more families with options to find the best educational fit for their children.” 

Under the House Education Committee’s proposal, the following families of four would be eligible to participate in the Family Empowerment Scholarship program:

  • Bank Teller ($30,530*) married to Carpenter ($39,620) would qualify in year 1 of the House’s proposal.
  • Home Health Aide ($23,630) married to a Power-Line Installer ($54,840) would qualify in year 2 of the House’s proposal.
  • Hairdresser ($31,980) married to a Firefighter ($52,170) would qualify in year 3 of the House’s proposal.
  • Police Officer ($58,400) married to a Health Care Support Worker ($36,520) would qualify in year 4 of the House’s proposal.


*Wage and occupation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017 Report